Tuesday, 28 June 2011
Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport
Timmy Dooley (Clare, Fianna Fail)
Question 557: To ask the Minister for Transport; Tourism and Sport if he will clarify the position regarding the announcement from Dublin Port Company concerning the companyâ€™s new masterplan and noting his media welcome of the masterplan; if he will outline his support for same; if he has or will enter into discussion with local Government TDs who are openly and publicly campaigning at local level against the plan and frustrating Dublin Ports attempt at public consultation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17294/11]
Leo Varadkar (Minister, Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport; Dublin West, Fine Gael)
As mentioned in the Deputyâ€™s question, I have previously welcomed the initiative Dublin Port Company has taken to develop a masterplan for the future development of the port over a 20-30 year timeframe.
It is in line with international best practice for the long term planning of port infrastructure and is consistent with efforts to improve integrated transport planning more generally. It is also an important method forÂ facilitating the engagement of local communities and other stakeholders in the long term planning of the port.
The Company has held a comprehensive public consultation on the masterplan, including a number of public events. I have urged all stakeholders to participateÂ in the process.
The issues paper published by the Company for consultative purposes raised a number of different options for consideration. Understandably different opinions exist on the future development of the port. A critical part of the masterplan process is to allow full participation of all stakeholders, so that their views can be taken account of by the company when finalising the masterplan later this year.Â I have not stated support for any of the particular options proposed. I have welcomed the process and the concept of the longterm masterplanning of ports.
The port company has theÂ very challenging task of fulfilling its statutory mandate to develop the countryâ€™s primary maritime gateway in a way that minimises the environmental impact and maximises the benefits for the city and country as a whole.Â I believe that it is possible toÂ strike that balance, and theÂ masterplan will beÂ an importantÂ step in that process.